In every aspect of business there is always room for improvement. Your email marketing tactics are no different and require some care and feeding along the way.

Yes, you’ve probably been achieving your email goals but there are still opportunities to find a new approach to your content creation, drive new subscribers to your database, or improve your website SEO. Maybe it’s time for a new look and feel, for a website or email template. There is no shortage of tactics in need of refinement.

Let’s Focus on One Aspect Here

How much of that matters if you are using an email list that hasn’t been properly managed? Routinely maintained? Regularly purged?

You’re probably a savvy marketer and as such you probably make time to study your email marketing statistics, and have had the epiphany that occurs when you come to realize as much as 30% of your email list deteriorates each and every year. Some of the reasons for this are obvious, others not so much:

  • Mass migration: people are transient because of their industry/employment status and their email address simply goes away
  • Can’t Get No Satisfaction: some people are just not happy with their email provider and switch to a new one (remember embarqmail or patmedia?)
  • Danger Will Robinson: is your email list contaminated by bots?
  • Lost in the Details: don’t you hate it when a new subscriber has a typo in their sign up form? Misspelled address = useless address.
  • It’s Full of Fraud: there are some people so crazed to get your special offer that they’ll go through the trouble of creating a temporary email address or even a fictitious one

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize what happens when your email list consists of 30% bad contacts? Distributing campaigns to leads that are null and void is highly inefficient and will wreck your overall campaign performance. Some reasons why include:

  • A null address results in a bounce, an deliverable email. Every professional email marketing provider tracks these, but so do the internet service providers. A high bounce rate will always raise a red flag and can effect future deliver-ability, for what is termed a low deliver-ability score.
  • If an ISP red flags you, or worse, thinks of you as a spammer, your legitimate emails will probably fail to reach real subscribers.

Fortunately, professional agencies have the ablity to “sanitize” email lists. This is especially important when taking on a new email marketing client, because experience has shown that that email list they bring to the campaign has lacked the care and feeding necessary to truly be seen as a real marketing asset. Far too often the new client has been using a mainstream, consumer-driven email platform, and have no clear statistics to demonstrate how unproductive the list has been been… or worse. They might even be on major ISP’s black lists and their mail isnlt even getting delivered. And they don’t realize this.

If nurturing your customers results in better engagement, imagine all of the benefits nurturing your email marketing list will provide?

Short Case Study

A manufacturing company wanted to bolster their connection with past and present customers, establish a growth trend in their email list, and prospect for new customers. They brought with them a list of over 5,000 emails reassuring us the list was solid and had been used for many years.

Call us cynics, but despite the client’s view of the list as something akin to being made of gold, we subjected it to a validation process to sanitize the list. The results were pretty typical (to us), and rather horrific to the client: the processes netted the list down to just 30% actually deliverable addresses.

To avoid irritating the valid email addresses remaining on the list, we always recommend the first email distribution be a re-engagement message. In short, this first email is intended to:

  • Remind the reader of the past or current relationship.
  • Make the brand name top of mind or remind them of it.
  • Reinforce the company’s value proposition and the value in receiving regular emails.
  • Promise to respect the sanctity of their inboxes.
  • Promise them an easy path to unsubscribing.
  • Provide a button to “opt-in” to future messaging (required to continue to receive notices, articles, special offers and/or contests by email).
  • While this approach further reduced the record count, because only 40% of the recipients chose to opt in, what remained was a list that consisted of people who were actually interested in what the company had to offer, in terms of information and products.

What is The Net Effect Of All this

In this example, by sanitizing this email list we removed many email addresses, eradicating disinterested, inactive, misspelled, and catch-all contacts. We made absolutely certain the database consisted of safe, genuine contacts. And in the process we laid the groundwork for:

  • Fewer high-risk email addresses = reduced bounce rate
  • The client’s improved reputation with the ISP’s will improve deliver-ability
  • Emails will actually arrive to an inbox, and not dumped in a spam or promotions folder
  • The above, when combined with an improved focus on great content, will result in high open and click-through rates and call to action responses
  • The client is getting more top of funnel activity and greater conversion opportunities
  • The client now has access to accurate performance data

Email is such a crucial part of inbound marketing that it’s vitally important every business use a professional platform and work with an accurate email list.

If your bounce rate is higher than 3%, consider retaining the services of a specialized marketing agency to review and sanitize your lists and help you establish a proper email marketing process.

Your campaigns deserve to be seen and work toward growing your company.

If your bounce rate is higher than 3%, consider retaining the services of a specialized marketing agency to review and sanitize your lists and help you establish a proper email marketing process.